How sharing your holiday pictures on social media can turn into a nightmare

Woman texting on her phone
-Credit: (Image: Tim Robberts 2022/Getty)

When it comes to posting holiday snaps on social media, a few simple errors can transform your dream getaway into a disaster. From revealing your exact location to accidentally sharing sensitive travel documents, these gaffes can leave you vulnerable to serious risks.

Internet privacy guru Trevor Cooke from EarthWeb has pointed out four major social media blunders to steer clear of while on holiday. Heeding his advice can help ensure your safety and still allow you to have a cracking holiday experience.

Sharing your location on social media as you journey is a risky move for several reasons. Instagram, for instance, makes it incredibly easy to tag stories with your current location.

However, by doing this in real-time, you're essentially advertising your location to a broad audience, which could include potential crooks. A high-profile example of the dangers involved is the 2016 robbery of Kim Kardashian in Paris.

Despite having a top-notch security team, Kim was targeted and robbed at gunpoint after revealing her hotel's location and photos of her pricey jewellery on social media. This incident underscored how even those with stringent security measures can fall prey to crimes enabled by social media exposure, reports Wales Online.

Tourists taking selfies while on holiday
Pictures could give criminals all they need to know about your location - and empty home -Credit:Getty

While you may not be parading about with jewels worth millions, it's still vital to keep your location under wraps. Broadcasting your current whereabouts can leave you open to a variety of risks, including burglary, stalking, and other personal safety threats.

Crooks can exploit the information you share to target you or your vacant property. "If you really want to share the location of where you travelled to, wait until you're already at the next location or back home," advises Trevor.

"By delaying your posts, you can still share your experiences without jeopardising your safety."

Another significant risk is that criminals can easily deduce that you're far from home.

By disclosing your specific travel dates, you unwittingly alert potential burglars to the exact period your home will be empty. Even an innocent post like "we're off for the next two weeks" gives valuable information to criminals.

They now know not only that your house is vacant, but also for how long, giving them plenty of time to plan and carry out a break-in. This makes your home a prime target for burglary, increasing the likelihood of theft and property damage.

Sharing your travel plans on social media might seem like a good idea, but it can actually put you at risk of identity theft or harassment. Trevor warned: "Information about your absence can be exploited in various ways, from impersonating you to accessing your personal accounts or even attempting to scam friends and family who might be unaware of your travel plans."

He advised: "To protect yourself, it's best to avoid posting your holiday plans and specific travel dates on social media. If you want to share your experiences, wait until you return home."